Vehicle Code 21751 states that there are only certain circumstances under which you and other drivers may pass one another on the road. Because these conditions are so specific, you may find yourself violating them without even knowing it. Alternatively, California law enforcement may slap you with a VC 21751 charge without sufficient evidence.
You need to contest VC 21751 charges if you want to avoid license points and fines. Our traffic violation attorneys can help you do exactly that. We can discuss your case in greater detail when you schedule your free consultation.
What to Expect From a Passing Without Sufficient Clearance Charge
California law only allows drivers to pass one another on the highway when drivers can see the lane to the left of them. The left lane must also be free from traffic.
In this same vein, drivers are expected to abide by the passing laws set forward by the lines painted on the highway. Drivers are only allowed to pass other vehicles if a road’s single yellow line is slashed. Parallel, unbroken lines indicate that passing is not prohibited on that particular stretch of asphalt.
With these rules in mind, California’s law enforcement representatives can punish the drivers they believe to be in violation of VC 21751. In turn, those charges can result in consequences that make it more difficult for you to retain your right to drive throughout the state.
Penalties for Passing Without Sufficient Clearance
You can challenge any ticket you receive for an alleged VC 21751 violation. If you leave these charges unquestioned, though, then you can face consequences that include:
Points on Your License
California’s negligent operator treatment system controls the roadway rights of drivers who’ve displayed negligent or reckless behavior behind the wheel. Through this program, drivers in California can receive points on their licenses if they don’t contest VC tickets.
The negligent operator treatment system comes into effect if you refuse to challenge VC 21751 charges. Uncontested charges will see you receive one new point on your license.
While one point may not seem like a particularly significant consequence, these points can add up. If you receive more than four points in a year, for example, the negligent operator treatment system may require the state to revoke your license.
California’s vehicle code violation fines are specific. These fines do not increase based on the severity of your alleged infractions. That said, if you’re accused of engaging in criminal activity at the time you’re ticketed, or if you’re taken to civil court, your fines may increase.
The baseline fine associated with an uncontested VC 21751 violation sees the accused pay California courts $238.00.
The Risks of Ignoring a VC 21751 Ticket
California instituted Vehicle Code 40508 to encourage drivers with tickets to take those tickets seriously. VC 40508 notes that any driver who ignores or forgets about a VC ticket can face misdemeanor charges and significant fines if they fail to appear in court.
This additional fine and risk of jail time come on top of the consequences affiliated with the initial VC 21751 violation. For example, anyone who misses their VC 21751 court date may have to pay fines of both $238 and up to $1,000 if they want to address the charges on their record.
Similarly, failure to appear in court can see you face up to six months in county jail. If you continue to refuse to comply with the court orders related to your VC charge, you may be arrested.
VC 21751 Violations and Criminal Charges
A VC 21751 violation doesn’t constitute a criminal charge. Even if you face criminal charges in court, you will not face additional consequences for passing on the road without sufficient clearance. Instead, you’re more likely to face charges involving negligence, reckless behavior, and the injury of others.
If you’re not sure what kind of charges to expect when your case goes to court, you can learn more with a traffic violation lawyer. Our team will assess the nature of your charges and help you both understand their root and fight to have them overturned.
Improper Passing on a Three-Lane Highway
The rules established by VC 21751 most often apply to driving on a two-lane highway. Once you get into California’s more populated areas, though, you’ll find yourself contending with three, four, and even five-lane highways.
Instead of applying two-lane logic to a broader road, both you and an attorney can instead turn to Vehicle Code 21659 to address tickets for inappropriate passing. This code states that drivers may only use the furthest-most left lane of a highway when passing or overtaking another vehicle. The use of these lanes outside of those purposes can result in a ticket.
That said, the language of this code is purposefully vague. If you need to contest a passing ticket in court, both you and your attorney can break down the definition of “unsafely” before a judge. An experienced attorney can see a California court reduce or drop the charges brought against you.
Defending Yourself Against VC 21751 Charges
Because you’ll have the right to contest VC 21751 charges in court, you’ll need to determine ahead of time what argument you want to use to defend yourself. While you can argue that you were wrongfully targeted for a ticket, you can also present evidence of an appropriate pass.
Submit Evidence of an Appropriate Pass
Dashcam footage and eyewitness testimony can both contradict the traffic reports submitted by California’s law enforcement representatives. If you want to argue that you engaged in appropriate roadway behavior, you can call on friends and witnesses at the scene to help you with your case.
Contest Your VC 21751 Charges With a Traffic Law Attorney
The more points California can apply to your license, the more likely it is that you’ll risk suspension or increased fines. If you want to retain your right to drive on California roads, let a criminal defense attorney help you contest VC 21751 charges.
When you contact us, we’ll arrange your free case consultation and help you understand the charges brought against you. With Simmrin Law Group on your side, you can fight to reduce or drop VC 21751 charges before getting back on the road.